Donaire flashes old form to become the oldest bantamweight champion


By Ponciano Melo – Filipino legend NonitoDonaire has stunned the boxing scene by turning into the game’s most seasoned hero at 38 years old, deposing WBC bantamweight ruler NordineOubaali using a fierce knockout triumph in Carson, California.

Exhibiting why fans consider him the Filipino Flash, Donaire rushed to the punch from the counterbalance.

Keeping his 34-year-old adversary under control with a hardened right hit, he likewise stung Oubaali with a sharp left snare in a few rounds.

In the third, Donaire made Oubaali taste material with two knockdowns; the second came soon after the chime.

And in the fourth, when an uppercut felled the French for the third time, referee Jack Reis had seen enough and ended the bout a minute and 52 seconds into the round.

Sending the crowd in his adopted home state into raptures, Donaire sentenced a stunned Oubaali to his first defeat and declared that “The king has returned.”

“Being at this age is not the question; it’s about my performance. About my ability to grow. I believe it matters not what your age is but how you are mentally. How strong you are mentally,” he claimed.

“What I learned from the [2019 loss to pound-for-pound candidate Naoya] Inoue fight is that I’m back.

“I can still compete at this level. The whole time I was not fighting, I was learning. I’m ready for the next one,” Donaire stressed.

“I came in here and I felt really good,” continued Donaire. “Today I knew exactly what was going to happen. I knew exactly what I was going to do.

“I think I was just very focused in the gym. I was very, very focused. I just felt really good coming in and I was grateful to get this opportunity.

“Tonight was something that I had to prove to the world that I’m back and I’m stronger than ever. He was a very tough guy. I think ultimately for me, there was a level of should I be more patient? Or should I go for it?

“Something I learned in the Inoue fight was to go for the kill. And that’s exactly what I did. I was patient but I knew he was hurt enough that I could take him out.”